Written by: Kelly Kreuscher
Originally Published May 17th, 2020
The L Royalty brand’s style has inspiration from many different fashion subcultures. For the next few weeks, I will be taking a look at some of the many inspirations for L Royalty’s style. I have seen plenty of these styles in the past, but before my in-depth internet research, I didn’t know all the specifics of each style. In this series of blogs, I will share the knowledge I find you you can better understand where we at L. Royalty pull our inspiration from.
For our first installment, I will be talking about Lolita fashion. This is a style which began in Harajuku, Japan, but now has followers all over the world. The style is very made up, and requires a lot of commitment for the people that dress in it. You likely recognize the classic Lolita look, with lots of lace, pastel pinks and blues. Generally, the Lolita aesthetic calls for wide skirts enhanced by petticoats. There are also many different ways to do your hair while dressing in Lolita, including elaborate hairstyles, wigs, big bows, and other hairpieces, like crowns or flower hats.
Lots of intricate accessories are also important to Lolita style. Embellished tights, lace wrist cuffs, choker necklaces, and other large pieces of jewelry are very popular.
During the 60s and 70s, there was a resurgence of romantic fashion, especially in the United States. This movement inspired many young Japanese women. They liked the feminine style and attention to detail of the romantic resurgence. These styles evolved among the people in Harajuku, eventually going from gunne sax dresses and straw purses to more embellished looks. The Lolita style combined the romantic looks popular in the United States in the 60s and 70s inspiration from the over-the-top looks of Victorian England and Rococo France.
This led to a more flamboyant style, especially when bell petticoats were introduced to create a poofy silhouette reminiscent of the Rococo fashion. In the early 2000s the word Lolita began to be used to describe this new fashion trend. Magazines such as the Gothic & Lolita Bible started at this time, including tips for people dressing in Lolita fashion along with snaps of streetwear style from Harajuku. Soon brands were beginning to release more and more articles of clothing inspired by the colors, patterns, and silhouettes of Lolita style.
Streetwear featured in Gothic & Lolita Bible
There are many subcultures within the world of Lolita, including classic, gothic, punk, elegant, wa, sweet, and many more. Each one takes a different approach to the style, while still maintaining the hallmark Lolita silhouette and aesthetic. You can definitely see the early inspiration of Romantic fashion with the classic Lolita style, featuring similar color schemes and accessories. The sweet Lolita look is one you likely see the most of, along with the all-black gothic style.
One popular outing for people in the Lolita community is afternoon tea. Going to cute, aesthetically-pleasing cafes with lots of bright colors and fun foods in groups while dressed in Lolita fashion is a way for people in the community to get dressed up in their favorite style and connect with other Lolitas.
If you’ve found the Lolita fashion interesting so far and want to learn more, there are a lot of great sources to talk about this style on YouTube! One video I recommend that looks at the origin of the style is A Brief History of Lolita Fashion by The Stitchess. Another video I enjoyed was I Got A Japanese Lolita Fashion Makeover from Safiya Nygaard. I liked this one as it was super interesting to watch someone who has never dressed in Lolita before and doesn’t have much background knowledge give it a try. It also definitely made me jealous, as learning about this style and seeing how awesome it looked made me wish I could try it myself!
Lolita is, for the people that dress in it, a way of expressing themselves. With such complex outfits that have many elements and often a high price tag, Lolita soon becomes more than just fashion, but a lifestyle to the people committed to wearing it. Many Lolitas say the most important part of dressing in the style is that they love to do it because it makes them feel good about themselves, and they do it without need for approval from anyone else. I thought this was the most interesting part of Lolita style. I love that the people who dress in it aren’t afraid of standing out from the crowd in their looks. Instead, they like getting dressed up and feeling cute and pretty in their own way.